Blogging’s great. I can turn to it to brag about holidays, bring attention to worthy causes or simply drop a good old rant. As you’ve probably inferred, it is the latter which bring me to post today. As my year-long tenancy in Brentford has come to an end, there are a few things I’d like to say about Anderson Knight, the West-London based estate agency managing the house I lived in.
I originally intended to vent my frustration at the excuse of a housemate I had to share the house -and more annoyingly, common areas which required some level of personal hygiene – with. I also really liked the title ‘A Housemate from Hell‘ which I can’t really use now. But never mind.
Harry Potter style
Anderson Knight isn’t a shit letting agency per se. They charge average fees, and I have no disgusting rat stories to tell (well we only had mice, anyways) nor tenants living in a cupboard under the stairs, Harry Potter style. When it comes to landlords it could be worse, and that’s exactly the problem. This should not be good enough. It ain’t.
In my time in the house, the totally ancient boiler regularly broke down and always took ages to fix. We even had an entire week where heating, lighting and water all stopped working in succession. In winter. The upstairs shower, located straight above the kitchen area, regularly leaked too. Their solution? Make sure water doesn’t drop on the side when you wash. Brilliant.
From garden to public space
When a storm took out the back garden wall, effectively turning the garden into public space, nothing was done for weeks. When mentioned freakish housemate broke every rule of health, safety and basic decency on a daily basis and Anderson Knight were informed, it took months of complaints about genuinely unacceptable living conditions before something concrete was done.
The oven was so useless I would’ve been better off blowing hot air on my dishes than waiting for the appliance to turn (and, crucially, stay) on.
Every issue needed to be followed up by phone and email 3-4 times before someone was sent to check, never mind fix things. This includes getting my deposit back. Now, I have a full time job and really don’t have time to play hide-and-seek with people whose job description is precisely to be reactive to these situations!
I write about this not just to get it out of my system – okay, mainly. I write because I want this blog to document a true depiction of London, from its very best to its most dreadful flaws, and such behaviour on behalf of estate agents is no exception.
Rather, it is symptomatic of the capital’s housing crisis, an expected consequence of a market within which agencies can afford to no longer provide a service, and routinely pick up free premium money every month in return for nothing. Anderson Knight are passively irresponsible because the system allows them to be, as the lack of housing in London guarantees them an endless pool of quick replacements for dissatisfied tenants like myself.